When Disaster Strikes

The trials and tribulations of natural disaster relief after mudslides and flash floods strike California, killing several people.

December, 2003: A San Bernardino County mudslide has left several people dead in California. This disaster documentary follows Anthony Bieggar and his family, who were celebrating Christmas holidays when their home is hit with a barrage of dirt and water. His wife and two children ride out the slide floating on the family couch. Their home is a disaster – more than a metre of mud fills half the rooms and has buried the Christmas tree. Parallax Film Productions reveals the aftermath.

This Discovery documentary profiles remediation crews as they tackle natural disaster relief to help get the Bieggars and other families back on track. Using CATs and shovels, they dig out houses, battle pathogens and rebuild.

In areas like Old Waterman Canyon and Devore, mudslides are a serious threat. Worse, this region is devastated by wildfires shortly before the mudslides occur – several homes that had been saved by firefighters are destroyed by this San Bernadino County mudslide in a devastating cycle of fire and flood.